It takes an awful lot to surprise Glenelg's Nick Wynne.
Known as one of the county's most confident and talented players, the Gladiator junior isn't afraid to set the bar high.
Yet even for him, admitting that this season exceeded his lofty expectations is something he can do without much hesitation.
It's not that Wynne didn't believe Glenelg could win county, region and state titles, or that he questioned his ability to blossom into one of the area's top scorers. He simply didn't necessarily foresee achieving those things in the emphatic fashion that he and his teammates did this spring.
After losing their season opener against Fallston, the Gladiators closed the season with 19 straight wins. Included along the way was a perfect 11-0 county record, wins over each of the 2010 state champions and the third state title in program history.
And as for Wynne, he finished his junior campaign with a county-leading 110 points (63 goals, 47 assists). It was the second-highest point total by a county player in the past decade and the most points by a non-senior since Mt. Hebron's Kyle Campbell notched 111 points as a junior in 1997.
"Honestly, I didn't think I would come anywhere close to that kind of year," said Wynne, who has been named this spring's Columbia Flier/Howard County Times boys lacrosse Player of the Year.
"I owe a lot to guys like Mikey (Wynne), John Milani, Mark Darden … teams found out pretty quickly that those guys are studs too. A lot of things opened up for me because of what they were doing," he added.
After serving as the wingman on attack last year to his older brother Zach and registering 58 points, Nick entered this season as the focal point for opposing defenses. It wasn't long before teams were locking him off, even in extra-man situations.
Slides were coming early and double teams created some frustrating moments, but, as his coach Josh Hatmaker points out, Wynne took it all in stride.
"What made him so hard to defend was the fact that he had no problem scoring five goals one game and then stepping back and getting five or six assists the next," Hatmaker said. "We had a lot of young kids out there and he trusted all of them to get the job done."
Nick displayed a particularly strong chemistry with his freshman brother Mikey, who finished with 82 points of his own and connected with his sibling for countless Wynne-to-Wynne goals.
"They literally seemed to always know where the other one was," Hatmaker said. "When you play with someone that you've shot around with in the backyard a thousand times before, you naturally develop a sixth sense."
As the season wore on, Nick had his share of big games. He had five goals and two assists in a win over Marriotts Ridge, four goals and four assists against Long Reach and five goals and six assists against Wilde Lake.
But for all the standout performances, Wynne saved his best game for one of the season's biggest stages. Squaring off in the Class 2A/1A state semifinals against Queen Anne's, the team that knocked Glenelg out of last year's playoffs, Wynne delivered a seven-goal and six-assist effort in a 15-4 Gladiator victory.
"I was so pumped to play them, that's the game I wanted all season," Wynne said. "It's funny because I was real nervous before the game, but after the first possession it all went away."
Queen Anne's ended up trying four different defenders on him, but nothing slowed him down.
"He saw that green and gold and it was game on," Hatmaker said. "It was about the most complete and perfect game he could have played."
On the season, Wynne registered two or more points in every game and developed into a match-up nightmare that opposing teams will have their hands full with again next spring.
"He's special and a lot of it is because he's put in the work to get himself to where he is," Hatmaker said. "The kinds of things he can do at full speed are downright scary. There's no half way with him. His ability to shoot with feet planted or on the run really sets him apart."